The peonies popped this week. We were given a luxurious bouquet of enormous pink blooms by some dear friends. “Magnificent” just doesn’t seem to do. Other superlatives fall flat too.

Usually flowers dress up a room. In this case, the poor room can’t keep up. For a few days, our family will experience a type of transcendence–made sweeter by the gift–that will amplify our shared joy.

Invest in beauty.

Beauty is not only a central source of joy. It also possesses a great significance for the development of personality, especially in a moral sense. Plato writes: “At the sight of beauty the soul grows wings.” Genuine beauty liberates us in many ways from the force of gravity, drawing us out of the dull captivity of daily life. At the sight of the truly beautiful we are freed from the tension that urges us on toward some immediate practical goal. We become contemplative, and this is immensely valuable. We expand, and even our soul itself becomes more beautiful when beauty comes to meet us, takes hold of us, and fires us with enthusiasm. It lifts us up above all that is base and common. It opens our eyes to the baseness, impurity, and wickedness of many things. Ernest Hello makes a very profound point when he says: “The mediocre person has only one passion, namely hatred of the beautiful.” Beauty is the archenemy of mediocrity.

Dietrich von Hildebrand, Beauty in the Light of the Redemption, 83.